The National have said Taylor Swift fans are “baffled” by their shows, while their own fan demographics are increasingly younger. Watch our video interview with the band above.

  • READ MORE: The National live at Glastonbury 2024 review: every song is played as if it could be the last

Frontman Matt Berninger and bassist Scott Devendorf spoke with NME at Glastonbury last weekend, where they gave a five-star performance. NME said: “It’s one thing to have artfully crafted the perfect setlist for such an occasion, but it’s another to be able to play every song as if it could be your last. When the finale comes with Berninger and the crowd completely captivated by the devastating ‘About Today’, we know they couldn’t have done more.”

The National have also collaborated with Swift before. They appeared on “Coney Island,” a track from “Evermore,” while Swift was featured on “The Alcott,” from the 2023 album “First Two Pages of Frankenstein.”

The National’s guitarist Aaron Dessner has collaborated extensively with Swift in recent years. They first worked together on her 2020 album ‘Folklore’, and have since worked on ‘Evermore’ and ‘The Tortured Poets Department’.

NME asked if The National could appear on one of Swift’s ‘Eras’ tour shows, but Berninger said that wasn’t likely. “I don’t think so. It’s nice – that whole bridge has been really, really fruitful for our whole band, not just Aaron,” he said. “Aaron has obviously had such a good time with her and done so many great things with her, and the Taylor Swift bridge has been around for a long time. But no, we’re not.”

He continues: “We get that question a lot. We see a lot of Taylor Swift fans come to shows and are baffled by the first 25 minutes or so. We’re blessed with demographics that run the gamut. Then, 10 or 15 years ago, a lot of younger people started coming – more and more women. For the first 10 years, it was kind of a guys’ party at most of our shows, but that’s changed a lot. We have all these old friends at our shows and they’re always different.”

Taylor Swift and Aaron Dessner perform live
Swift and Dessner have collaborated several times. CREDIT: TAS2023 via Getty Images

This isn’t the first time Berninger has talked about working with Swift. In September of last year, the singer said NME“The Taylor thing was super organic. We’ve known her for a long time and Aaron has obviously done so many great things with her. I wrote ‘The Alcott’ with my wife Carin in mind, Aaron sent it to Taylor and she added her own perspective to it and wrote all her parts to it. It was a real duet where she heard that and embodied the character that I was singing about – which is almost always Carin.”

He also spoke of her “incredible generosity” towards her fans, revealing that he stayed up until midnight for the release of her 2022 album ‘Midnights’. He added: “She turns a record and a piece of art into an event and that almost never happens anymore. The Beatles could do that and I’m absolutely in awe of her ability to bring so much excitement and joy to so many people. It’s in my house and I love it.”

Tonight (June 3) The National play Cardiff Castle, while tomorrow they head to Manchester to play Sounds of the City at Castlefield Bowl. The day after that they’re at Crystal Palace Park in London, before a run of European dates over the next month. Find The National tickets here.